Natalia ISD’s new 6th grade wing set to be completed July 30 despite schedule, cost overruns

Representatives from construction management company AGCM Incorporated and Joeris General Contractors assured the Natalia ISD Board of Trustees that the new 6th grade wing will be substantially completed and turned over to the district on July 30 as scheduled.
Project executive Nick Tuttle of AGCM addressed the Board during its June 28 meeting and said the project, which is part of the $10.7 million bond package approved by voters in November 2018, is slightly behind schedule and over budget thanks to a shortage of materials across the construction industry.
“We’re trying to make up ground where we can as a team, but there are some things that are out of our control,” Tuttle said.
Superintendent Harry Piles noted that the projected completion date is just weeks before teachers return to campus for in-service on August 16, followed by the beginning of the school year on Aug. 23, and questioned whether construction on the new wing will be completed.
Dan Byrom, Director of Operations at Joeris, echoed Tuttle’s remarks about supply chain issues, noting that the completion of countertops in the science lab is behind schedule because of difficulty securing the epoxy and resin needed to complete the installation, but offered assurances that the work will be finished on time.

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“We are committed to getting the building open, turning it over to the district, and having students use it,” Byrom said.
According to Tuttle, the project is around $1.223M over budget.
“We are of course looking at some options on cutting costs and keeping costs as low as possible, but it’s an ongoing thing,” Tuttle said.
Tuttle also updated the Board on changes and possible price reductions for paving work on 8th and 9th Streets.
“We’ve re-evaluated the road that’s coming off of 9th St.,” Tuttle said. “There are some areas we believe that are salvageable, where we don’t have to replace all the asphalt, so we’re looking at doing some cost reduction there, going over it with a slurry seal in some of those areas instead.”
Also under consideration is work on a portion of 8th St. that is currently a turn lane.
“We’re looking at an agreement with the City to have the City come in and put a chip seal product down in lieu of the asphalt that was originally planned,” Tuttle said. “From a connection standpoint that works really well because it will be one consistent product all the way across, you won’t have to worry about that transition as much.”
When completed, the new wing will include classrooms, a science classroom, administration offices, cafetorium, and kitchen. Natalia Junior High’s 300 wing is also set to be converted into a new Band Hall.
By Marly Davis
Staff Writer